Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?

No. We have no reason to believe that UK passport holders will require visas for holiday travel to the EU at any point in the foreseeable future, and both the European Commission (EC) and the UK government have said as much.

Currently, British citizens can freely travel anywhere in the EU with a valid UK passport. If the UK leaves the EU under the terms of Teresa May’s proposed deal, Brits free movement rights will remain unchanged until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st 2020.

Once the UK fully leaves the European Union, British citizens will technically become ‘third party nationals’ in relation to the EU. However, in November last year, the EC proposed a two-way deal that would provide visa-free EU travel for UK passport holders for short stays and vice versa for EU nationals in the UK. The British government have echoed the desire for a reciprocal agreement to come into force.

Whether a Brexit deal is agreed or not, the EC has already outlined a fast, simple online travel registration system called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which will come into force in 2021.

ETIAS is set to be a midpoint between a full visa application process and unrestricted entry. It will require prospective visitors to the EU to register their details online, answer a set of security questions and pay a €7 (£6.30) fee per application, although under-12s will be registered free of charge. UK passport holders will need to provide the following information prior to travelling to the EU from the UK:

  • Personal information of each applicant, including name, address, contact details, passport details and occupation
  • Information regarding each applicant’s medical health, particularly infectious diseases
  • Information about each applicant's medical health, particularly regarding infectious diseases
  • Details of any serious crime convictions in the past 20 years
  • Travel details and plans: reason for travelling, accommodation addresses etc.

The information provided in each application will be put through relevant security checks and run alongside the Interpol database before the application is either being approved or rejected. This decision should be received within 96 hours of submission.

Once your application has been approved, you ETIAS travel permit will be valid for three years, or until the passport you registered with has run out. Should you be rejected, your notification message will include details of how to appeal against the decision.


Sources: https://etias.com/ & https://www.independent.co.uk/